Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just Born

Tim, Ada and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of

Ingram Joseph Shepherd
July 27, 2012 8:30 am
22 inches long
9 pounds, 14 ounces

We call him Gram. 

Even though my big boy was in no hurry to initiate the process of getting himself born the induction was a success. Ten hours (nearly 3 of which were spent pushing) after we started the process Gram made his way into the world all face up and screaming mad but completely perfect!

I don't need CPS at my door for exposing my newborns parts. Shame I even have to think of it!

There were a lot of relieved and happy tears from the grown-ups in the room with me as the leader. Giving birth, both times, remains the most emotionally powerful, transformational experience of my life. As far inside yourself as you must go when in labor the rush of emotion the moment the baby comes out is a consuming release. Once that particular wave of emotion is exhausted the aftermath is calm and peaceful and dream-like. It's the fast track to falling in love.

Blissed out.

On our long, long list of tasks and goals that have driven the cross-country move to New York the headliner was making sure that Tim was here when his son was born. He is a tender, loving father and a natural with babies. Watching him interact with our children has been a joy and a privilege from day one.
Well, mission accomplished. He left on a red-eye to New York on Sunday night, just 62 hours after Gram was born. We knew this was going to happen and neither of us looked forward to it. We're not one of those attached-at-the-hip couples or anything and we've done long distances but this time feels different. Our family will  disperse across the country before we can look forward to being back together again. It's a necessity and we will all survive but it still sucks. I really miss having him here right now.


Knowing that Tim would be gone shortly after Gram was born, we put into place a support system. Then a family emergency caused it to fall through at the last minute. I sent out the bat call and lo, I had more support than I could use. People talk about their safety net of friends, their community. Sometimes I'm a bit envious of their stories mostly because everyone seems to be in one place. I've moved around a fair bit due to educational pursuits either on my part or Tim's. What I find as I grow older is that establishing that safety net in a new place gets a little harder with the passing years. You can drop me in any of the 50 states, Puerto Rico or most of the EU countries and I will have a friend there who can help me out. That's pretty cool but it's also nice to have a support network in your own backyard for times like these. I have learned a few things over the past week. One, I'm capable of so much more than I thought possible (yes, I apparently must learn that lesson over and over again) and two, my safety net is small and diverse but strong and reliable.

Ada at a play date with Erika's kids. I got a few pics emailed through the day starting with "yogurt monsters". Ada had a blast!

Giving birth is pretty messy business even under the most favorable circumstances. Now, I can crow all day long about having a pelvis that allows me to push an almost 10 pound baby through it. Truth is, this does not come without consequences. I'll even go so far as to say that  I don't care who you are, if you say that you gave birth and were totally back to yourself  the next day you are a liar. Point is, I'm recovering. It's slow but I'm getting there. If you want details about this sort of thing you can head on over to Pregnant Chicken cause she makes damn near anything funny. I will throw out this morsel though - it's a game I play with all my newborns called "how many chins does mommy have?" Lucky me, someone always gets it on film.

Three, mom. I count at least three chins today.

Ada. Oh, my darling girl. Mama is on her way back to being herself. Thank God shitty mommy is getting farther and farther from the picture. My temper is still shorter than I want it to be but for the most part she seems to not notice. Mostly, she just wants me. I picked her up from a play date and the dad in the house remarked on how well-behaved my first-born is and how she really loves me. That's nice to hear given that I haven't always given her a reason over the past couple of months.

I sent a picture of her to Tim last night, our new ritual - lots and lots of phone pictures. He wrote back that he missed her. I wrote back, "FWIW, I miss her too and I'm right here." My poor daughters world is turning upside down over and over again and we aren't even done here yet. She is clinging to me for comfort, to make sense of it for her and to to be the stability she needs. As much as I want to and try to be her rock the reality is that my attention is divided. I wish I could cut myself in half, the most common complaint of moms who are new to having two babes. It's heartbreaking to send her on playdates when she's begging to stay home to stay with me. I'm trying to make sure she is always getting something from me but it's hard to hold the starving baby, arrange the breast pump or SNS AND read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus all at one time. It's a blessing and a curse: the love has grown exponentially just as I thought it would. Learning how to make sure that love adequately reaches the little people who matter the most is a riddle.


Still, my girl IS strong and resilient. She is also caring and compassionate as evidenced by how she interacts with her baby brother in general. She is captivated by him and does adorable things like pointing out that, "Baby brother is crying. He wants his mommy." She also loves to give him a pacifier, sing Twinkle, Twinkle little star, hug him, kiss him and calls him "awww, sweetie". She is the best big sister.


We're finding our way under some particularly whacked-out circumstances. I'll be deeply immersed in the world of bringing in my milk. This involves a process that lasts about an hour and a half and has to be repeated every three hours from the start of the last feeding. Translated: I get 1.5 hours of non-feeding time at a stretch. Dang, I wish breastfeeding was easier for me. Love it that I can grow a 9-10 pound baby in my uterus and push it our successfully but I can't feed the baby to keep it alive. If I were an indigenous people somewhere my lineage would die out is all I'm saying. Alrighty, me and my new BFF, the breast pump, have a hot date.


Welcome to the Shepherd family, Widget!


3 Lovies:

Brittany Belling said...

Congratulations! He's adorable!

Lisa said...

He's adorable and it will get easier with the two, I promise. Much love, health, and ease with nursing to you babe.

AudreyN said...

OMG He is ADORABLE!!! And I love his name! Everyone has told me that going from 1 to 2 is hard, and its true. I can't say it will get easier because I am still trying to figure it out myself. But congratulations!